However much companies are prepared to commit to their logistics operations – in terms of finance or man power – we commonly see the same mistakes crop up. Through years working in the industry, we have often encountered recurring themes when it comes to the obstacles that can scupper companies’ efficiency when it comes to delivering goods from A to B efficiently, safely and on budget. Here are three common mistakes which we would advise avoiding as much as possible:
1. Too many cooks spoil the broth
If you have multiple departments involved in your shipping operation, or more complex still, have a number of shipping partners as part of the chain, you are risking your logistics becoming an organisational nightmare. For this reason, we strongly recommend a ‘governing department’ whose responsibility it is to oversee shipping at every part of the process, working in tandem with one sole shipping provider who can manage the product journey end to end. For example, if you are arranging freight to Germany, and are relying on departments at the source and destination end, as well as several shipping providers to arrange your Germany freight services operation, you are risking losing efficiency in terms of both accurate accounting and time.
2. Losing cost control
While it might appear to save money employing a logistical team in house, the truth is that, in many cases, outsourcing can make sense, allowing you to utilise the operational man power of the experts, while only paying for what you need to. It certainly makes sense to have an employee that is dedicated – part time or full time – to shipping operations, and can act as a first point of contact with your logistics provider. But, if you are funding a full-time team to look after your logistics, there is sizeable chance that there could be some money to be saved somewhere down the chain.
3. Visible data
Data, and the improper recording and updating of it, can often be the tripwire which brings shipping operations to a halt. It is important that your data is kept both safe and secure, and also that you know exactly who is viewing, and changing it. As with the first point in this list, too many parties interfering and editing your logistical data can result in a confused situation when the most up to date figures can give reason for debate. Even with a content management and sharing platform, spreadsheets can quickly become inaccurate and outdated. It can pay dividends to appoint a logistics provider, such as Plexus Freight, that can take full responsibility for the recording and updating of data, ensuring only accredited parties are permitted to make changes.